Hello everyone :)
So first, apologies to everyone whom I did not send a reply email to this week. This week has flown by and I can't believe we are more than halfway through this transfer. Today we spent a little too much time looking at all the colorful leaves so we hardly had anytime to email. So I'm sorry, but I'm going to try and put all the info into one email this week. I love everyone, and i loved reading your emails, but today I have to hurry and go grocery shopping before p-day is over (oops)
Last Friday was Zone training meeting. I am definitely liking this meetings more and more. I learn so much on how to be a better missionary and teacher. I definitely need as much help as I can get! Heavenly Father is so merciful. We have been working hard at trying to get some of our less active investigators to be "progressing". We are also working hard to prepare two of our investigators for baptism this weekend. Both of our investigators passed their baptismal interview within 10 minutes :D I am so excited, happy and grateful. However, our bishop called last night and expressed concerned about one of our investigators being baptized because she hasn't been to church every single week. She works on Sundays and is only able to come to church every other week. Although her attendance hasn't been perfect, she really loves church. She loves coming. She has a good friendship with the members in our ward.
Newsflash - the Fushimi sister missionaries (4) are staying with us in our apartment for the week. Yeah! The challenge is that there are 6 of us and only 2 keys. They moved in with us after having a run-in with a stalker/secret admirer. This guy actually walked into their apartment while drunk. Although he didn't do anything, he knows where they live. So now they have to move to a new apartment and in the mean time they are staying with us. Party!
A wonderful blessing this week was having a lesson scheduled every single day. We haven't had time to go "finding" for the last 4 weeks. I'm amazed. I am really grateful. However, that also means that I'm not practicing my stressing skills or practicing using the phone. Yeah... But my teaching skills have improved a lot :D
About the typhoon in the Phillippines. We actually have an investigator who is in the Philippines right now. Her flight was delayed, obviously, so maybe we'll get to see her this week. Funny thing is, she's been roommates with a less active member for over a year. On Halloween Tojo Shimai and I tried to visit all our investigators. Since our investigator wasn't home, we met with her roommate who turned out to be a less active member of the church. She married a Japanese man who passed away a couple of years ago after an illness. Previous missionaries hadn't met this woman before because when the missionaries would come to her apartment to teach her roommate, she would go into another room with her daughter until after the missionaries left. Tojo Shimai and I were able to talk with her for awhile and we invited her to church on Sunday. She told us that she didn't know where the church building was, so we met with her this week and gave her a tour of the chapel and taught her a short lesson. Our ward mission leader was excited to hear about us finding her and her 8 yr old daughter. I believe they are going to assign her a visiting and home teacher now that she seems to be interested in contact with the ward again. I am also hoping she can help us out with our current investigator, her roommate? I know that the primary is going to be so happy to meet her daughter - (our primary is very small here)
Since I have been in Shimogamo I have learned to rely on the Lord more. I can begin to see that even though I am not a perfect missionary, if I do my best then Heavenly Father can work with that. I have learned that the people who become our investigators didn't become so because of our efforts or great skill at being missionaries; they become investigators because they have been prepared by God to hear our message. I am just grateful that I have the opportunity to teach them and to help them. It is truly humbling. When I think about how busy we have been the last three weeks teaching all of our investigators, my heart is full of gratitude. The missionary work in Japan is truly increasing. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to serve a mission. I love the work. I love the people of Japan. I LOVE Japan!! I'm already planning on a return trip back here someday. I don't know when or how, but I will come back. I am grateful that Tojo Shimai and I have been blessed with lessons and investigators. Now we just need to embrace these opportunities and share our testimonies and our love for the gospel, for Jesus Christ and God, our Father.
Anyway, I hope everyone is doing well. I'll be thinking of everyone on Thanksgiving this year. This year the transfer date falls on Thanksgiving so I'm not going to have much of a holiday. But that's ok. Unless I'm not transferred, than I'm totally making pie. Because pie is the best part about Thanksgiving. Everyone knows it. Thanks so much for all your love and support. Thank you all for your great examples. I love the Book of Mormon, I love my Savior, I am grateful for my testimony and my relationship with my Heavenly Father.
Love you all,